Sophomore catcher Ryan Messina (St. James, NY/Smithtown East) belted a pair of two-run homers to lead Shepherd University to a 10-5 win over Alderson-Broaddus in WVIAC Baseball Tournament championship game at Point Stadium on Sunday.
Shepherd took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Senior first baseman Nathan Minnich (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro Area Sr.) belted a two-run double, moved to third on a bunt single by junior second baseman Chad Murphy (North Olmsted, OH/North Olmsted), and scored on a sacrifice fly by senior designated hitter Nash Hutter (Sunland, CA/Verdugo Hills/Glendale CC).
Messina belted a two-run homer and sophomore third baseman Brandon Coffey (Manassas, VA/Osbourn) added a solo blast in the third to give the Rams a 6-0 advantage.
Alderson-Broaddus plated three runs in the fifth. Mike Hackett hit a two-run single to key the rally.
Shepherd added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth on another two-run blast from Messina to take an 8-3 advantage.
The Battlers cut the lead to 8-5 with a pair of runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Bobby McLaughlin.
Shepherd added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. Scoville walked and scored on a fielder's choice by Murphy and Murphy scored on a sacrifice fly by Hutter.
Kriby Clemens went 3-for-5 to lead Alderson-Broaddus.
Shepherd starter Andrew Gallant (Oak Ridge, NJ/Jefferson Township) (5.0 IP, 6 Ks, 5 BB, 3 ER) (6-3) picked up the win with sophomore Paul Hvozdovic (Herndon, VA/Herndon) (3.1 IP, 1 K, 0 BB) gaining the save. Alderson-Broaddus starter Paul Gonzales (7-6) took the loss.
Shepherd improves to 30-20, while Alderson-Broaddus falls to 29-24. The Rams earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of their conference championship.